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Forty days after the Resurrection, we celebrate Christ’s ascension into Heaven. Before He died, Christ told His disciples in advance that He would ascend up into Heaven, and from there send the Holy Spirit to them (John 16:5-16). On Ascension Thursday, Jesus fulfills the first half of what He promised, and ten days from hence, He fulfills the second half of that promise at Pentecost Sunday.
From Heaven, Christ continually intercedes for us before God the Father. Through His intercession, those who are redeemed have full access to God, and are continually being sanctified. As Hebrews 7:25 tells us, “he is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” All good things we receive from the Father come through this intercession.
Christ will not always remain in Heaven however, as He will someday come back down to earth to manifest His justice and to establish the fulness of Kingdom; to institute the New Jerusalem. As the angels declared to the disciples in the reading, Jesus “will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11) When He returns, those who placed their hope and faith in Him will be vindicated, and will be set free from all pain and suffering: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
As believers, we have hope in Christ for the present, because of His continual intercession for us, as well as for the future, because of His promise to come again in glory. We should never waver in this hope, but keep it in the forefront of our minds at all times.